Building Things That Will Last

Eric Nielsen

One of the passages of Scripture that most encourages me to fulfill Christ’s command to make disciples is 1 Corinthians 3:10-15:  

“By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds.  11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.  12 If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw,  13 his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work.  14 If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward.  15 If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.”

At first glance you may be asking, what does this passage have to do with discipleship? It is a passage that teaches the importance of building things that will last, specifically lives that will persevere in Christ. It is a pretty common word picture in the New Testament to view our lives as a building that is continuously being built. This passage reminds us that we can build with materials that will hold up well and materials that will fail when tested.

What materials of life will last, the gold, silver, and costly stones mentioned above? Likewise what materials of life will suffer loss, the wood, hay, or straw? In order to answer this question you have to think about what in life will stand the test of time. It is clear that  the bible teaches that God, His word, and those that he has made in his image are eternal. This information should seriously affect they way we spend our time here on earth. We should desire to build our lives with these strong materials. God and His word speak of our need to spend time growing in our relationship with Him. Those made in His image speak more of evangelism and discipleship.

If human beings are eternal, then we can build a structure that will last by investing in others. Do you view the things you spend time on in life as strong or weak materials for building? Are you passionate about investing in the gospel centered growth of others through intentional discipleship because you are convinced that this is an eternal act? We should take Paul’s challenge seriously, what things in our life will withstand testing?

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